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Why it is Always KTN

BUSINESS
By | September 27th 2010

By Kiundu Waweru And Stephen Muendo

The packed hall went into frenzy as the judges rose to announce the winners. And the winner is... Changing Times! Television Producer Jennifer Gatero could not wait for the conclusion of the statement. She jumped with joy as fans cheered her for a job well done.

Yes! We have done it. The "Changing Times" Crew are all smiles as they show off the coveted trophy they won at the Kalasha Awards on Saturday.

KTN’s Michael Ndetei and the station’s ‘Changing Times’ programme crew celebrate after winning the best TV drama during the Kalasha 2010 awards. Photo: Pius Cheruiyot/Standard

This was during the second edition of Kalasha Film and Television Awards at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on Saturday night, in a colorful ceremony graced by three Cabinet Ministers.

Changing Times, a pulsating TV drama aired on KTN on Tuesdays and produced by Gatero, beat three other nominees to bag the Best Television drama category.

It is a drama about a powerful multinational company. The man behind it’s success – Mr Kanyi is a loving father and a discerning businessman. But in an uncharacteristic error of judgment he gets involved with the wrong people, including Elizabeth, 20 years his junior whom he marries after his wife leaves him. The other is Yusuf Ali, an illegal arms trader. A family programme, Changing Times also features Mr. Kanyi’s children, the 19-year-old twins, Rita and Sean, and their life in college.

Gatero, who is also a film director and scriptwriter, thanked her family and KTN’s Michael Ndetei for the big award before emotionally hugging her crew.

A few minutes later, while still in a trance, Gatero walked out to let the joy sink in. Cajetan Boy, a veteran scriptwriter congratulated her with a hug.

A beaming Gatero later told The Standard: "I still cannot believe it. Tumetoka mbali (we have come from far) this is a confirmation that we are doing well. Greater things are in store."

During the announcements, with her heart in the mouth, Gatero’s soul nearly sank when she had the name "change."

"MNET’s programe, Changes had been nominated alongside us and I thought they had won, then, I heard the word "times," and I said whoa! Thank God."

Other nominees

KTN, Kenya’s oldest independent television station is owned by the Standard Group whose other stables include The Standard, The Standard on Saturday, the Standard on Sunday and the newest radio station – Radio Maisha.

Gatero’s other programme, Mheshimiwa, a comedy aired on KTN on Mondays had also been nominated. Adding to the thrill of Changing Times win is the fact that the drama, compared to the other nominees, Changes, Siri and The Team is the new kid on the block, having hit the TV screens on April this year.

The star-studded feature film and TV nominees who hit the red carpet in style. The dress code was Kenyan/African and although some flouted the rule, a few gave kitenge and lesso a new meaning as they turned up in creatively cut attires.

A large tent had been erected at the KICC grounds, and the nominees arrived in limousines. They were met with flashing camera lights, cheers and ecstasy. Comedian Daniel Ndambuki a.k.a Churchill was among the first of the stars to arrive, followed by a hilarious ‘Inspekta’ Mwala.

But MC’s – Caroline Mutuko and Eddie Kimani, tried their best to give the event a carnival mood. Gatero and her crew also thanked Kenyans for showing confidence on KTN programmes.

"It is a sign of better things to come. Please stay tuned," she said.

Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was the chief guest. Accompanying him were Information Minister Samuel Poghisio, his Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo and Medical Services minister Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Kenya Film Commission Chief Executive Officer Peter Mutie said: "I would like to congratulate all the winners and the nominees of the Kalasha’s. I salute all the entire 153 entries."

It was a night many Kenyans will remember for a very long time. Because it a year of The Changing times

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